, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 557–564 | Cite as

A semi-artificial rearing system for the specialist predatory ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

  • Sara Maes
  • Tim Antoons
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
  • Patrick De Clercq


In the present study a semi-artificial rearing system for the Australian ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a specialist predator of mealybugs, was developed. In a first step, a rearing system using eggs of the Mediterranean flour moth Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) as a food and synthetic polyester wadding as an oviposition substrate was compared with a natural rearing system using the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), as to its effects on the predator’s developmental and reproductive parameters. In a second series of experiments the performance of C. montrouzieri on bee pollen or on a mixture of E. kuehniella eggs and bee pollen was assessed. E. kuehniella eggs proved to be a suitable food to support larval development of the predator. Ladybird larvae reared on flour moth eggs developed two days faster and weighed approximately 10 % more than their counterparts reared on mealybugs. Despite a prolongation of the preoviposition period with ca. eight days and a decrease in egg hatch by about 10 %, C. montrouzieri females fed moth eggs accepted the synthetic wadding as an oviposition substrate and deposited the same number of eggs their counterparts maintained on mealybugs. A mixture of E. kuehniella eggs with pollen yielded similar developmental and reproductive rates as E. kuehniella eggs alone, but a diet of bee pollen alone was not adequate for the predator. Our findings indicate the potential of a rearing system using E. kuehniella eggs as a factitious food and synthetic wadding as an artificial oviposition substrate for the mass production of C. montrouzieri.


Biological control Rearing Factitious food Artificial oviposition substrate Coleoptera Coccinellidae 



This research was supported by BOF (UGent).


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Maes
    • 1
  • Tim Antoons
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
    • 2
  • Patrick De Clercq
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop ProtectionGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Biological Control and Spatial Ecology LabUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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